Sylvester is the cat with the loudest meow I’ve ever heard. Not surprising, as he’s deaf after all. At the first acquaintance I notice straight away he’s not a very social cat. As I usually do, I kneel down right next to him and stick out my hand cautiously. Owner Jari warns me, for Sylvester is known to lash out unexpectedly at occasions. Being careful as I usually am, I do not expect it to happen to me, but it does! Distracted by owner Elena, I get a warning swipe of the paw on my hand. Not painful, yet venomous: a clear warning. It’s not clear to me what for, especially as he looks as if nothing particular has happened.
A week is a relatively short time for a sit, with which I mean that this is generally not long enough to bond with a cat. Due to his deafness, he often wouldn’t even notice my arrival at the house. Also, the sound of cat biscuits clattering into a metal bowl went unheard. It caused for me to feel obliged to clearly demonstrate him I was preparing his diner! Another possibility was, that he wasn’t that interested in food. In spite of being on a diet – I was asked to feed him measured amounts of biscuits, no wet food – he never seemed hungry when his meal was put in front of him.
However, the only moment that he explicitly asked for my attention was in the dead of night! His owners had forewarned me, but only in a noiseless world I noticed how loud Sylvester’s meow was! To prevent him from feeling lonely, I kept the bedroom door open.
Another reason could be boredom: because of his deafness, under no circumstances Sylvester was allowed to go outside. The only exception being to lure him in his bench, so he could spend some time in the garden in his mini prison. I never succeeded in doing so. What owner Jari pointed out to me, was that he would sometimes sniff at the narrow gap at the bottom of the door. As if he was smelling freedom behind it!
Much later on, I thought of another reason for the nightly noisiness: hunger. Sleeping on an empty stomach is one of the hardest things to do.